Lynn Riggs was one of the most successful playwrights ever to make the jump to Hollywood. Born in Claremore, OK (also the birthplace of Will Rogers), Riggs punched cattle for a living and spent his spare time as a singer in local movie houses. A cattle train took him to Chicago and from there he headed east to New York, where he sold books at Macy's and worked as a proofreader for the Wall Street Journal. He later returned home and enrolled in the University of Oklahoma, where he became a freshman English instructor after his first year. He began writing poetry and plays, principally set in the region of his birth, and after some success, most notably at the Hedgerow Theater in Philadelphia under Jasper Deeter, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent the year of 1928-1929 in Europe. He returned with his first great play, Green Grow the Lilacs, all about life in Oklahoma at the turn of the century. This work was a massive success as produced by the Theatre Guild in New York and provided a handful of future western movie actors with steady work and their first taste of success as performers, including a young law student turned singer/actor named Woodward Ritter, better known as Tex Ritter, and Hank Worden, later a fixture in the movies of John Ford and John Wayne. Over the next decade, Riggs became a fixture in American theater, a respected dramatic voice and a key figure in the literature of the American southeast. He went out to Hollywood during the late '30s for a decade-long stay, in which he toiled profitably if without distinction, apart from the two scripts he wrote for early entries in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes series at Universal Pictures. Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror, which opened the series, had the task of re-establishing Holmes and Watson in the public mind as characters in a contemporary setting, which it did splendidly. Oddly enough, other than the two films that Rathbone and Bruce had made at 20th Century Fox in 1939, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, none of the Holmes movie adaptations of the teens, 1920s or 1930s, placed the detective in Victorian times and no one ever noticed, but somehow the modern setting stood out in the Universal Rathbone series, perhaps because it took place during World War II, which was decidedly topical. The script for Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror featured some brilliant writing for the villain, Meade (Thomas Gomez), and the heroine, Kitty (Evelyn Ankers), and a stunningly atmospheric denouement, skillfully adapted from the close of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story, His Last Bow. Sherlock Holmes in Washington showed more of the influence of Riggs' collaborator, Bertram Millhauser, who took over much of the writing of the series from that point on. In 1944, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, in their first collaboration, adapted Green Grow the Lilacs into the musical Oklahoma, a revolutionary work in American musical theater, which was later translated into a motion picture, thus assuring Riggs' place in screen and stage posterity for generations to come.